Sirena Summer Tote (with Tutorial)

When Jessica Swift asked me if I’d be interested in participating in her Sirena Summer Tote Challenge, I was like heck yes because I love her and I love Sirena and I love totes. Summer… not so much because it’s hot, but 3 out of 4 ain’t bad.

And like her entire collection is spectacular, but I was finally able to narrow it down to these prints with the Bluebottle Field Textured Denim.


I spent hours and hours searching for the perfect tote pattern and couldn’t find it, so in the end I decided to make one based on what I wanted and to make a video tutorial.

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I tried to cram as much information as I could into the tutorial so even a beginning sewist could make one, so definitely check it out. Here is some additional information that wasn’t in the video.


  • Half Yard (HY) outer main fabric

  • HY lining fabric

  • Fat Quarter (FQ )outer pocket fabric

  • FQ inner pocket fabric

  • HY denim

  • Fusible Interfacing

  • Fusible Fleece

tote fabric cuts.png

And here are the final pictures of both the outside and the inside. This is definitely going to be my go-to bag for the summer and then some.



It’s not too late to join Jessica’s Sirena Tote Challenge. Make sure to head over to her blog to learn all about it.

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While I don’t promote anything unless I legit love it, this post contains affiliate links.


  1. Mathew Boudreaux

    I know what you mean about trying to find the right tote pattern! Too big for short people ~ not that I’m saying I’m short, šŸ˜€ too small, too flimsy, too plain, and the ever-present too ugly. argh! Definitely going to check out your video cuz yours looks like what I’m looking for. It also looks sturdy enough to adapt it as a grocery bag, which has been on my hunting list for some time now.

  2. Mathew Boudreaux

    Thanks, your tips worked great! Very happy with my new bag. I glammed mine up with an embroidered butterfly just for fun.

  3. Mathew Boudreaux
    Heather Todd

    Great tutorial! Im looking the measurements for the inset zipper on the inner lining for this bag.

  4. Mathew Boudreaux
    Peggy Kline

    Made it. Love it. Thanks. Love your videos.

  5. Mathew Boudreaux
    Lori Chiov

    Thank you for this video. I made a tote almost identical to yours for my grandaugther for Christmas. She is going to love it, only if her mother doesn’t end up stealing it from her, as my daughter LOVES mermaids too. But not to despair for my daughters, I used your design to make she and my other daughter their own totes, using Jessica Swift’s Tallinn fabric for one and Pat Bravo’s Artisan fabric for the other. They are both a bit larger, have a few more pockets (including the inside zipper pocket), a swivel hook with tassels, an inset zipper closure, and just some cute little labels. They all came out so lovely. Thank you so much for the inspiration!

  6. Mathew Boudreaux
    Michigan Sews

    I love this tote so much I made 3 in a row. 10 hours for the first one, then 6 then 4. My main fabric was decor weight, so I used a lighter stabilizer. On the third one I used the 3 fold method on the strap. I just couldn’t turn and flatten another denim tube. No shame in that. I’m going make many more. Thanks so much for this and your other tutorials. I appreciate the time and energy involved.

  7. Mathew Boudreaux
    Linda Quick

    Did I miss something? Your cuts indicate two 2×42 denim strips. However your video talks of four.

    1. Mathew Boudreaux


    2. Mathew Boudreaux

      He lists a 2x at the beginning of each, so its 2x 2 strips.

  8. Mathew Boudreaux
    Linda Quick

    Thanks, but you didn’t have to interrupt your Sunday just for me. I assumed four and cut them.

    Thanks again.

  9. Mathew Boudreaux
    Cathi Till

    Where do you get those red headed sewing pins? Are they glass head?

  10. Mathew Boudreaux

    Mister Domestic I love your tutorials. Iā€™m in the process of making this tote. I watched the video of sewing an inset zipper. Looks easy enough. But what size zipper do you recommend for this project and how far from the top is the cut line for the zipper? Thank you.

  11. Mathew Boudreaux
    Mary Green

    How can I get a pattern for this I have to make me one cos I need a tote bag for my mom and me

  12. Mathew Boudreaux
    Heather Graff

    Hi I am using this pattern to make a tote. I am not using denim, I am just using quilters cotton. I was wondering do I need to use the fusible fleece on the handles. I made one and it seems too bulky any suggestions. Thankyou

    1. Mathew Boudreaux

      It all depends of the loft of the fleece. Iā€™d at least add interfacing

  13. Mathew Boudreaux

    Hi, is there any way to get another tutorial online? I’ve used the tutorial once before but I am making another for my friend since she liked it so much. I forget exactly how to make it so some instructions would be great if you can. Thank you

    1. Mathew Boudreaux

      Feel free to contact YouTube and ask them to give me back my channel. It was hacked and deleted.

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